Commonwealth: Early Childhood and Care Relief and JobKeeper
On 2 April 2020, the Commonwealth Government announced the
Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package to be used in conjunction with the
JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme for eligible providers. On 8 June, 2020, the Commonwealth Government confirmed the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will restart from 13 July 2020.
For information about the transition arrangements for the end of the Early Childhood and Care Relief Package, visit the
Commonwealth Government's Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
More information about the package is available on:
In response to the Commonwealth package, out of school hours care (OSHC) providers are reminded to lodge an SA12 Notification of Change of Information About an Approved Service on the
National Quality Agenda IT Service portalor contact
On Monday 30 March 2020, the Commonwealth Government announced the JobKeeper package to support businesses and help keep workers in jobs.
The wage subsidy is available to eligible businesses with a payment of $1500 per fortnight for each employee for up to six months.
Commonwealth's JobKeeper webpage for more information.
The Department will continue to provide all existing streams of kindergarten funding, including:
- Early Years Management
- School Readiness Funding
- Kindergarten Inclusion Support
- Preschool Field Officer funding.
If services have to close due to coronavirus (COVID-19), service providers will still receive all of their regular kindergarten funding based on their confirmed enrolments for 2020. This includes Early Start Kindergarten enrolments.
Under the agreement between the Department and kindergarten services, funding can only be used for the purposes for which the funding is given (for example, kindergarten program costs such as staffing).
Funding for programs that support kindergarten participation, including Access to Early Learning and Best Start, will also continue in full for all sites. The Department recognises that some program activities will need to be paused or adapted given current circumstances.
Additional funding – Term 3
The Victorian Government is providing additional funding in Term 3 to support eligible sessional kindergarten services and their families in response to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This funding is in addition to all existing Victorian Government kindergarten subsidies and payments, which continue in full for all enrolled children.
For information about the funding visit: Funding for not-for-profit sessional kindergarten programs.
Additional support for cleaning
In Term 2, cleaning grants were provided to all ECEC services delivering a funded kindergarten program.
In Term 3, a second round of grants are also being provided to ECEC services delivering a funded kindergarten program, including:
- $900 for services with less than 50 enrolments
- $1500 for services with 50 or more enrolments.
Services can use the funding for enhanced coronavirus (COVID-19) cleaning and hygiene requirements in their kindergarten programs.
It cannot be used to pay for normal staffing or cleaning costs, or for buying normal levels of hygiene supplies.
Payments will be made directly to all service providers delivering a funded kindergarten program. No application is required.
Additional funding will be available for services across Victoria that are required to close and undertake an infectious clean as a result of a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19). For each room where kindergarten programs are delivered, $1,500 will be provided towards the cost of an infectious clean.
Worker support payment
The Victorian Government announced an extension of the one-off $1,500 coronavirus (COVID-19) worker support payment to support individuals who can’t rely on sick leave. This is to help individuals to comply with the direction to stay at home if they are unwell or are required to self-isolate.
Unwell staff in the early childhood education and care sector who have been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) to self-isolate or quarantine at home because they are diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19), or are a close contact of a confirmed case, should be supported to access their sick leave. If they do not have access to sick leave, they should
check their eligibility for the worker support payment.
Kindergarten Inclusion Support and Preschool Field Officers
There is no impact on funding for either
Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) or
Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program and both remain available to support eligible children. Assessments of new applications for the KIS program are also progressing.
Funding for KIS additional assistants is continuing, even where a child with additional needs is not currently attending a service. In these circumstances, the kindergarten service, KIS providers and KIS additional assistants should work closely to agree how the additional assistants can be engaged to support learning from home programs.
Preschool Field Officers (PSFOs) may still visit a service using appropriate risk mitigation strategies. PSFOs can also use video conferencing if remote delivery is agreed.
Assessment and rating review processes and reports
The process for sending out reports to services and for services to lodge reviews will continue where possible.
No service will be disadvantaged in accessing their normal review processes.
Where possible, we'll continue to progress the completion of assessment and rating reports currently in progress.
If this is not possible, we'll extend all process timelines accordingly.
Assessment and rating visits
To make sure resources are best focused on responding to and managing coronavirus (COVID-19), we're postponing all assessment and rating visits until further notice.